I-77 bridge wreck sends two to hospital

WILLIAMSTOWN – A rush-hour wreck Friday at the Interstate 77 Williamstown-Marietta Bridge involved a lost couch and a tractor-trailer, sent two to the hospital and closed the southbound lanes of the bridge for more than an hour, officials said.

Around 5 p.m., an unknown motorist carrying a load of furniture and traveling southbound across the I-77 Williamstown-Marietta Bridge lost control of the load and deposited a couch on the bridge behind the vehicle, said Deputy M.C. Hupp with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office.

Behind the unidentified motorist, Tracy West, 41, of Orma, W.Va., and his wife Melissa West, 36, of Orma, W.Va., were test-driving a Dodge Ram pickup from a local dealership, Hupp said.

Tracy West was unable to stop in time to avoid striking the couch, Hupp said. The couch was hit, and ended up beneath the Ram’s undercarriage, Hupp said. The test-driven Ram was forced to stop in the center of the I-77 Williamstown-Marietta Bridge due to being hung up on the couch, said Hupp.

Unable to stop on the slick bridge surface, a tractor-trailer from Broughtons Dairy then struck the Ram from behind, Hupp said. The tractor-trailer was driven by George Mosser Jr., 54, of Marietta.

Tracy West and Melissa West were transported to Marietta Memorial Hospital for their injuries. They were treated and released on Friday evening, said Jennifer Offenberger, director of marketing and public relations for Marietta Memorial Hospital.

The test-driven Ram received disabling damage and was towed from the scene, said Hupp.

The tractor-trailer sustained damage to its front end, but was able to be driven from the scene, Hupp said. Mosser was uninjured and permitted to refuse treatment, Hupp said.

The couch was smashed into multiple pieces during the accident, Hupp said. It was recovered by the West Virginia Department of Highways and disposed of, Hupp said.

The I-77 Williamstown-Marietta Bridge was reopened to traffic around 6:10 p.m., Hupp said.

No citations were issued to any of the drivers involved in the accident, Hupp said.

The motorist who lost control of the furniture load and left the couch behind on the bridge is being considered as fleeing from the scene of an accident, Hupp said.

The crash remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the driver of the vehicle that was hauling the couch is asked to call the Wood County Sheriff’s Office at 304-424-1834.